And speaking of buying used--now that Christmas is over I can show you what I made for my mom and my sister! I had so much fun making gifts this year that I think I'll do it every year.
I found a little kids table and chair set at a second hand store and bought it thinking I would give it to my brother and his girlfriend for their baby girl (due in April) but then I remembered that my mom has this cute little tea set and has always talked about having tea parties with Cora, my niece, and now Cora is coming back from Ireland and they'll be living with my parents for a while so my mom will need a little table. So I decided to paint it and give it to my mom.And for my sister I made a purse using an easy tutorial I found online. I used a piece of upholstery fabric I got from my very first job out of college (a fabric store for interior designers) that I've been holding onto for 17 years and I just love the way it turned out. Part of me wished she wouldn't like it so I could take it back and make her a different one!Inside the purse I put a collection of my favorite short stories. I xeroxed them from my own books and wrote an introduction, made a pretty cover, and bound the pages together. It wasn't until after I compiled the stories that I read them all again and realized how depressing most of them were! That's part of the reason I wrote an introduction--I had to warn her that reading the stories all in one sitting might lead to thoughts of suicide. So far she's still with us though, so I don't think they've had a negative impact. The stories I chose were:
- In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried by Amy Hempel
- Melinda Falling by Jincy Willett
- Cathedral by Raymond Carver
- Memories of Youghal by William Trevor
- Shooting Dad by Sara Vowell (that one's an essay, not a story)